Working with our Physical Energy – Natural Cycles

19th March 2012

seasonsNatural cycles affect the human body – these cycles include the lunar cycle, the seasons, and the 24 hour daily cycle. Our sensitivity to these varies. As part of understanding how our energy works at a physical level it is therefore useful to examine these cycles to see if they are a significant influence in our lives.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) & 24 Hour Cycle

TCM has built up an understanding of how chi, or energy, moves around the body during the 24 hour daily cycle. At different times of the day chi is particularly strong or weak in certain parts of the body. A good example is the bowel and digestive system: in TCM, the large intestine (the mechanism of the body that is responsible for processing food & removing waste from the body) is the energetic focus of the body between 5am and 7am; the stomach then becomes the focus between 7am and 9am. From a TCM perspective, it is better to eat a large breakfast rather than a large dinner – this is because the stomach is stronger in the morning and so is better able to digest a lot of food. Having a lighter meal in the evening (or avoiding a late meal) places less stress on the digestive system, which by that time is (from a TCM perspective) much less efficient than at the start of the day.

The TCM perspective can be very useful in working out what is right for you – as we are all different listening to our body and understanding what works for us is the most important thing, rather than slavishly following one approach.

To find out more about TCM, try this site which has a nice summary of the cycle and its associations with the body’s organs and state of mind.


Some traditional systems of well-being emphasize the importance of living in harmony with the seasons. One of the main ways to do this is by eating food that is in season naturally, rather than food that has been imported. So in the UK, for instance, summer fruits are for summer rather than for the whole year round.

Whether this is important to you is a personal decision – I can see the logic of eating food that is locally available and that has been naturally grown, rather than flown half way around the world.

Lunar Cycle

The interaction between the moon and the planet creates the movement of the tides on the oceans. Some researchers believe that the moon also has an effect on the human body – the thinking behind this is that the variation in the strength of the moon’s electro-magnetic field causes a change in the biochemistry of the body at a cellular level. This results in a release of emotional stress. On the other side,  other researchers have found no link between the full moon and (for example) increases in emergency room admissions.

This is a fun article on the effect of the moon on wine tasting – it sums up the debate nicely 🙂



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